This is my experiences of caring for my wife, having her cared for, while at the same time receiving care myself because I’m handicapped. The politicians are proposing to administer care in the future, to the country as a whole. If you use the search engine on this Blog you will find where I have explained about care in detail, the various aspects involved, such as the provision of suitable equipment, of care in the home on a daily basis, and above all that currently care is a postcode lottery, and I am fortunate in the care that I receive.
To some extent there is a theory that the elderly should pass over their property, and their savings, up to a fixed amount, to ensure that the inheritance to their children is preserved and not used to pay for care in a care home, which will happen if the savings are above a certain amount. In my generation, born at the end of the First World War, we were trained to save, against indebtedness. The problem with the above philosophy is that if you have made over your home and your savings to members of your family, you can lose your home and all the savings you passed on, if one of them gets seriously into debt. In my case I am paying for my wife out of my own and her income and savings, with one advantage, I was able to pick the home which I wanted, because of the standard of the home. I had seen so many of my friends in homes, over the years, where the quality of care was not personal, where everybody was lumped together irrespective of their condition.
There was a programme on Andrew Marr’s Show, where he interviewed Andrew Lansley, MP, Secretary of State for health, concerning the increase in anticipated financial requirement to cover the cost of care across the country, in view of the fact that people were living to an older age. Some points I feel are very serious and could lead to mismanagement. Firstly, very few people in any given family finish up in a care home. Within my family, my wife is the only one out of all of the family, going back to our parents and their relatives, who has had to go into a care home for a protracted period. I suggest that when you read this, you carry out your own exercise to get some bearing on whether the government is making the right decision. They refer to the cost of care as being anything between 50,000 and a hundred thousand pounds, which sounds excessive, but this is only for one person, and considerably greater than I would have expected, and not spread out to a figure that could be taken as the average per person, whether receiving care or not. To some extent this is true depending on the life expectancy of the individual, but in my case using our savings and our pensions, it is only costing us about 13,000 the year, and I repeat that she is the only one in the family who has required this help.
The word, ‘ Insurance’, came into the conversation, and I took it to be that in some way the government wished everyone to have insurance against going into a care home, Perhaps I misunderstood, but I took it that the government was proposing some further taxation, whether it was included in the general tax or was a separate taxation. When I first wrote this blog I used to say that it was like shouting down a well, because all I got back was the sound of my own voice. Insurance is a bottomless pit into which we throw money through fear, with no hope of a valuable return. I would have thought, a quick assessment could be made on the liability of an individual finishing up in a care home, as a percentage,, This would have been a sensible way to go, before going into any other system of taxation. Currently, in most care homes there are different grades of care charged at different rates. The most expensive is the dementia and full-time care. I believe that this differential should also be taken into account when deciding on what sort of tax is going to be levied.
Finally, there is no shadow of doubt that there has been a considerable change from my day to the modern generation with respect to saving, and therefore the system should be designed to take this into account. It seems to me singularly fair that somebody who is careful and responsible, and wishes to assist their successors after they are dead, should be respected, anything else is invidious.